Pizza Night at Orange Peel: “It’s as much about the people as it is about the pizza”

When the Li-Bruynell-Hull vacation team pulled up for Pizza Night at the Orange Peel Bakery on Martha’s Vineyard, the sun was so bright that I forgave the weather for the past three days of rain, the stone oven so beautiful that I snapped pictures unabashedly, and the people so friendly that I wondered if I’d somehow teleported to the West Coast. In a word, it was heavenly. Special thanks to Amanda for the recommendation!

Here’s how it works:

During the rest of the week, Juli and the folks at Orange Peel can be found reaching into their stone hearth for treats like ciabatta bread, sweet and savory scones, and the amazing amazing amazing baking powder biscuits. Day-old goods can be found inside the kitchen while freshly baked items rest outside. Shelves brim with ingredients and possibility! Looking around in a small but organized kitchen like this (and unlike my large but very disorganized kitchen), all I can do is sigh.

On pizza night, though, things work a little differently. Drinks and special toppings are BYO to share, while the Orange Peel provides dough, sauce, shredded mozzarella, and hands highly experienced with roaring-hot-oven-pizza-cookery. The recommended donation per person is $10. It’s a great expression of what it means to cook and eat family style.

We always read through the recipe before we start cooking!

There were other first timers, like us, and plenty of regulars, many of whom helped out with prep and cooking. We brought fresh mozzarella, locally grown basil, portobello and white mushrooms, and some leftover salsa for the topping table.

The lovely volunteers presented us with dough, which we topped with our own and others’ toppings, and then returned for bake-ification.

We started things out with a simple basil-mozzarella pizza:

Minutes later, the pizzas emerged from the oven, hot, crispy, bubbling, and slightly charred, just the way I like it.

The Orange Peel folks sliced the pizzas and served slices up to any guest who wanted a taste. We got to try pizzas with pesto, pepperoni, fresh herbs, ground buffalo meat, and raw cheese! Sharing is so badass. We were stuffed!

Community vibes and teamwork can make good food great.  If you’re on the Vineyard on a Wednesday, don’t miss Pizza Night!

Thank you, Orange Peel, for a fun and delicious experience. We loved meeting you and hanging out with all the other people and families there. The community/family atmosphere was awesome and the pizza was great. Thanks for letting us have a taste.

Here’s hoping that heaven has a Pizza Night!

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